by Eric Mitchell, The Blood-Horse
The 19-year-old Argentine-bred son of Ride the Rails finished the year with seven graded stakes winners and $15,432,953 in progeny earnings. His top performer for the year was leading Horse of the Year candidate Gun Runner , who earned an impressive $6,950,700 in purses.
No one, however, could overcome the $13 million head start that Arrogate gave his sire, the late Unbridled's Song, in the first half of the racing season when he won the world's richest races: the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1).
Candy Ride has been a steady presence in the upper ranks of North America's leading sires for several years. He first broke into the top five on BloodHorse.com's general leading sire list in 2014, when his progeny earned more than $10 million for the first time in a single season and put Candy Ride fifth among the leaders. The sire's annual progeny earnings have not fallen below $10 million since then.
An undefeated, three-time grade 1 winner campaigned at 4 in the United States by Sid and Jenny Craig in 2003, Candy Ride entered stud at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms and achieved early success. He was the third-leading sire of his freshman sire class in 2008 by earnings and ranked fifth by earnings and fourth by black-type winners for both his second-crop and third-crop years.
In 2009, shareholders decided to relocate Candy Ride to Lane's End, where his stud fee doubled to $25,000 for the 2010 breeding season. As it turned out, 2010 would be a breakout year for the sire who was represented by four grade 1 winners that season: El Brujo (Pat O'Brien Stakes), Misremembered (Santa Anita Handicap), Sidney's Candy (Santa Anita Derby), and Twirling Candy (Malibu Stakes).
Candy Ride was tied that year with Dynaformer and Giant's Causeway as the leading North American sire by number of grade/group 1 winners.
Gun Runner attracted the spotlight in 2017, but Candy Ride had 16 other black-type winners that included six other graded stakes winners. His other top performers of the year included grade 1 winners Ascend, Candy Sugar Lady, and Separationofpowers, along with graded winners Crewman, Mastery , Paid Up Subscriber, and Unified .
Through Jan. 14, Candy Ride has sired 71 (6%) black-type winners, of which 31 have won graded/group stakes. His graded/group winners include 11 that won at the highest level. A champion miler in Argentina, Candy Ride has sired four champions to date. His only North American champion is Shared Belief, a five-time grade 1 winner from 2013-15, who was honored as champion 2-year-old male for 2013.
Once a sire starts regularly occupying the upper echelon of the rankings, his sons grow in appeal as stallion prospects. Ten sons of Candy Ride have published fees for the 2018 season, with five just entering stud. The following is a summary of those sire/sons starting with the new sires of 2018.
Misremembered (Beyond Perfection, by Quack). Bred by trainer Bob Baffert and raced by his wife, Jill, in partnership with George Jacobs, Misremembered won or placed in eight graded stakes, including a victory in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1). He retired with a 6-5-0 record out of 13 starts and earnings of $1,306,709. Misremembered entered stud in 2011 in Kentucky and then relocated to California last year. This year he is standing at Barton Thoroughbreds for $2,500. Misremembered has sired 37 winners to date, including Ax Man, who won by 9 1/2 lengths Jan. 1 at Santa Anita Park, in his first start. He also sired black-type winner Nightly News and grade 2-placed winner Dazzling Gem.